Sandra Barnes lost her boat while doing the Baja Ha-Ha, a two-week cruisers rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, which takes place every fall. Here is her story:
It is with mixed emotions that I write this. I am the owner of BoatBumGal, a 1968 Nicholson 38, center cockpit ketch, that sank after striking rocks outside of Bahia Tortugas (Turtle Bay) Baja Sur, during the 2023 Baja Ha-Ha. Luckily, we were able to exit the vessel with no injuries to crew or myself. As we moved away from the boat, I had the misfortune of watching my vessel slip under water.
This was not just my boat, but my home as well. All of my possessions were on the boat. My boat was my world. I had worked on her for five years, fought for her during a divorce, and honed my sailing skills on her. She was my pride and joy. The circumstances surrounding the reason she strayed off course and hugged the coast is up for dispute; let’s just say I put my faith in someone who possessed credentials far superior to mine.
But we were fortunate. The people of Turtle Bay embraced us as family. I was provided with warm clothes and shoes. I exited my boat, grabbing only a bag (phone, some money and identification), and was fortunate that my daughter was able to arrange for our departures. It was a long, arduous trip back, but I am now back in the United States, as is my crew.
After the Ha-Ha, I had planned to sail to La Paz and continue to parts unknown. Now, I have no idea where my journey will take me. I’m 65 years of age and am now couch surfing. Still I have no regrets. I tried, failed overwhelmingly, but I tried.
I’m proud to say BoatBumGal passed the finish line of the first leg of the Ha-Ha. I want and need to return to the water…my happy place. Unable to secure hull insurance, I was insured for liability only. Before this adventure, I sold all of my non-boat related belongings, which in turn allowed me to obtain upgrades and services for my boat. All is under water. To paraphrase the Jimmy Buffett song Bubbles Up, I am now just trying to find my path.
A fundraiser is online to help her get back on her feet after losing everything. Please help if you can: https://www.gofundme.com/f/sailor-who-lost-her-boat-during-the-bajahaha
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